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New-look saloon gears up.

Bmw's new 3 Series CoupA represents the biggest-ever departure from the saloon models upon which it is based. The good news is that this relates only to the styling and the saloon model's inherently brilliant dynamics remain untouched.

There are, however, some essential tweaks that combine to give the CoupAs an even sportier feel, which bodes well for next year's arrival of the eagerly-awaited coupe cabriolet version.

The new line-up consists of the 2.5-litre and 3.0-litre petrol versions plus a 3.0-litre diesel from the saloon and also two high-performance newcomers.

They are the 335d and 335i, with the former using a twin-turbo three-litre diesel engine from the 5 Series and the latter being an enormously powerful twin turbo affair.

However, the 3 Series CoupA story does not end there, because looming large on the horizon are the V8-powered M version plus the entry-level 320i and 320d models, due here next spring.

The 3 Series range in general is going from strength to strength with a trio of new six cylinder engines.

The three-litre twin turbo petrol model is the 335i and is joined by the 325d, which is a turbocharged oil-burner.

There is also a three-litre diesel with twin turbochargers.

The 335i models, which are already included in the CoupA range, are added to the Saloon and Touring line-up with a whopping 306bhp of power and 400Nm of torque.

This results in a scorching 0-60mph acceleration time of just over five and a half seconds with a combined economy figure of 29mpg.

The 325d model generates 197bhp with a CO2 figure of 171g/km and combined economy of 44mpg. It accelerates from standstill to 60mph in just under seven and a half seconds and has a top speed of 145mph.

The 335d model generates 286bhp and is fitted to the Saloon, Touring and CoupA models from this month, with acceleration to 60mph in just over six seconds in the case of the CoupA. The top speed is electronically limited to 155mph, as is the case with all powerful Beemers. Each has a six-speed automatic transmission with a manual sequential override.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 26, 2006
Words:353
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